Thursday, 27 February 2014

Europe Talks the Talk on Salmon Farming

Read the Full article here:

http://donstaniford.typepad.com/my-blog/2014/02/european-presentation-now-online.html

Mr Coveney has been given misleading information from a few within the Marine Institute and their cronies within BIM

Mr Simon Coveney and his Department of Agriculture is been made look like Piggy in the middle and Ireland look like an Island of Clowns to the rest of the Europe. To us Mr Coveney has been given misleading information from a few within the Marine Institute and their cronies within BIM to keep their bank accounts full of Irish Taxpayer money.

The European Commission is investigating why it did not receive a scientific report from the Department which showed the amount of sea lice likely to come from such a farm could devastate much of the country’s wild salmon and trout.

This report was drawn up by Inland Fisheries Ireland, responsible for protecting and developing inland fisheries and sea angling and protecting wild salmon under the EU’s Habitats Directive.

Instead, the Department sent a different study from another state agency, the Marine Institute, that said the danger would be small: about 1% compared with the 39% suggested by the Inland Fisheries report.

The Ombudsman is also investigating the issue and was told by the Department that the Inland Fisheries report had many inaccuracies and fundamental errors and that it “would have had disastrous results for Ireland’s reputation” had they sent it to the Commission.

To us this is where the misleading information came into effect and more of the untold truth about open net pen salmon farming has now made Mr Coveney and his department become untrustworthy of information they forward to the EU.

To the best of our knowledge the report that was sent to Europe by Mr Coveney's Department was issued from within the MI Marine Institute and had been peer reviewed by persons with a conflict of interest with open net pen salmon farming. This report was questioned by four independent scientists and has proven the IFI Inland Fisheries Ireland to be correct in saying that sea lice from these open net pen salmon farms are killing up to 39% of the wild salmon smolt at sea. When the report was published in Journal of Fish Diseases, this forced the head of the Marine Institute, Dr Peter Heffernan, to defend the work by saying the scientists had not considered the entire study.

This is part of the report from the Journal of Fish Diseases:

The Jackson et al. (2013) incorrectly lead the reader to a conclusion that sea lice play a minor, perhaps even negligible, role in salmon survival. Such a conclusion can be supported only if one is prepared to accept at least three fundamental methodological errors.

The first is that the pairedcontrol–treatment structure of the data was notutilized in their meta-analysis (only as separate pertrial chi-squared tests), thereby allowing interannual fluctuations in overall survival among trials to obscure (or bias downward) the overall effects of
parasiticide treatment relative to controls.

The second is the use of arithmetic averages for comparing survival proportions between control and treatment groups; these data are log-normally distributed, and appropriate survival analysis involves the calculation of differences in groups on the log scale.

Finally, their measurement of the difference in survival between control and treatment groups in absolute percentage points (their overall final result is approximately 1% point) does not equate to the percentage of salmon that are lost to mortality caused by parasites.

We the NSFAS (No Salmon Farms At Sea) are asking all Groups, Organizations and members of the general public to join with us and voice your concerns on April the 2nd 2014 at the AVIVA Stadium Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 where BIM are hosting their National Seafood Conference 2014.

Please see link attached for their conference programme,

http://bim.ie/our-services/seafood-conference/programme/

We are asking that everyone joining with us on the day to bring their own placards and banners and meet with us at Gate A of the Lansdowne Road Entrance to the stadium at 7:00am.

See link attached, http://bim.ie/media/bim/content/features/Lansdowne%20Road%20Way%20Finder.pdf

We are hoping to have speakers from various groups throughout the day to voice the concerns of their Group / Organization with open net pen salmon farms at sea on the day.

Should you have any suggestions or questions please contact any of the following.

NSFAS Secretary, Jim Kelly. …………………085 820 5096

NSFAS Chairman, Paddy Keenan. …………… 087 27 46 755

Email paddy.keenan@nosalmonfarmsatsea.com

https://www.facebook.com/NoSalmonFarmsAtSea


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Full-scale war over Galway fish farm | Irish Examiner

Full-scale war over Galway fish farm | Irish Examiner


A full-scale war is under way between the Department of Agriculture and the Inland Fisheries Ireland is likely to determine the fate of Europe’s biggest fish farm planned for Galway Bay.

The European Commission is investigating why it did not receive a scientific report from the Department which showed the amount of sea lice likely to come from such a farm could devastate much of the country’s wild salmon and trout.

This report was drawn up by Inland Fisheries Ireland, responsible for protecting and developing inland fisheries and sea angling and protecting wild salmon under the EU’s Habitats Directive.

Instead, the Department sent a different study from another state agency, the Marine Institute, that said the danger would be small: about 1% compared with the 39% suggested by the Inland Fisheries report.

The Ombudsman is also investigating the issue and was told by the Department that the Inland Fisheries report had many inaccuracies and fundamental errors and that it “would have had disastrous results for Ireland’s reputation” had they sent it to the Commission.

They put forward a report from the Marine Institute, which provides scientific advice to the Department, and which painted a very different picture, suggesting the danger from such a farm would be small.

However, this report was questioned by four independent scientists when published in Journal of Fish Diseases, forcing the head of the Institute, Dr Peter Heffernan, to defend the work, saying the scientists had not considered the entire study.

The European Commission has reopened its investigation of the matter having received the Inland Fisheries study. Their spokesperson said they were investigating, but had just received the Department’s response on Monday and needed time to assess it.

Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) want the issue of the Galway Bay farm investigated, saying the environmental impact study was largely based on the Marine Institute’s report, while the report from the body responsible for wild fish conservation, Inland Fisheries, was sidelined.

The Galway farm is part of the Department’s plan to boost the country’s food exports. Getting licences for fish farms tends to be lengthy and bureaucratic, with many environmental and social issues to be considered.

The Department asked BIM — the body responsible for developing the country’s sea and aquaculture industries — to prepare an application and seek planning permission for a fish farm that would more than double the country’s production of farmed salmon. It is expected they will sell or lease the licence to a private company.

FIE are also questioning whether it is right to have BIM looking for the licence for the Galway Bay farm and ask whether BIM will also fulfil its other role of advising the minister for agriculture on whether to award the licence. “This all appears to be incestuous and not very healthy,” said Tony Lowes of FIE.

The Department said it received the application from BIM and the environmental impact statement and was considering it. Inland Fisheries Ireland, in a submission to the application, suggested changes should be made and quoted their research that 39% of smolts (young salmon) were killed by sea lice from fish farms and warned that the planned farm and the harvesting of its fish could produce the same dire results.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Speakers at the BIM Conference 2 April 2014


BIM Conference @ Aviva Stadium Dublin

Wednesday, 2 April 2014 from 09:30 to 16:45 (IST)

Dublin 4, Ireland





Speaker Description Time

Conference Registration (coffee, tea, available) 8.00-9.30
Kieran Calnan Kieran Calnan Welcome
Kieran Calnan,  Chairman, BIM
9.30-9.45
Simon Coveney thumbnail Simon Coveney, TD Official Opening of Conference
Opening address by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and The Marine, Simon Coveney, TD
9.45-10.00
Ian Smith Ian Smith  Keynote Address 
The conference keynote address will be given by Ian Smith, Chief Executive, Clearwater Foods, Canada
10.00-10.30
Joe Gill Joe Gill Snapshot of the Irish Seafood Industry- Strategy, Challenges, Opportunities
Guest Speaker Joe Gill, Director of Corporate Broking Capital Markets, Goodbody
10.30-10.50

Coffee Break 10.50-11.05
Jon Hindar Jon Hindar Conference Session on Scale
Guest Speaker Jon Hindar, Chief Executive Officer, Cermaq ASA
11-05.11.25
Rob Smith, Morrisons Conference Session on Scale
Guest Speaker Rob Smith, Morrisons
11.25-11.45
Caroline Keeling Conference Session on Scale
Guest Speaker Caroline Keeling, CEO Keelings
11-45.12.05
bim_donal_buckley Donal Buckley Scaling Panel Discussion
Chaired by Donal Buckley, Director of Business Development and Innovation Services, BIM 
12.05-12.30

Questions and Answers  12.30-12.45

Lunch & Networking
The Havelock Suite (East) 
12.45-14.00
Magnús Bjarnason Magnús Bjarnason Conference Session on Raw Material
Guest Speaker Magnús Bjarnason, Chief Executive Officer, Icelandic Group, Iceland
14.00-14.20
Martin Sullivan Martin Sullivan Conference Session on Raw Material
Guest Speaker Martin Sullivan, President  &  CEO, Ocean Choice International, Canada
14.20-14.40
Torben Foss Torben Foss Conference Session on Raw Material
Guest Speaker Torben Foss, Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers Seafood Industry Centre, Norway
14.40-15.00
Donal Maguire Donal Maguire Raw Material Panel Discussion
Chaired by Donal Maguire, Aquaculture Development Director, BIM
15.00-15.25

Questions and Answers  15.25-15.40

Coffee Break 15.40-15.55
Jonathan Banks Jonathan Banks Conference Session on Sustainability  
Guest Speaker Jonathan Banks, Business Consultant, UK
15.55-16.15
Aidan Cotter Aidan Cotter Conference Session on Sustainability  
Guest Speaker Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive,  Bord  Bia
16.15-16.35
Barry Deas thumbnail Barrie Deas Conference Session on Sustainability  
Guest Speaker Barrie Deas Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, the representative body for fishermen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
16.35-16.55
bim_michael_keating Michael Keatinge Sustainability  Panel Discussion
Chaired by Michael Keatinge, Fisheries and Training  Director, BIM
16.55-17.15

Questions and Answers  17.15-17.30

Conference Closes 17.30

Pre-dinner Drinks Reception
The 1872 Suite, The Aviva Stadium
19.30

Dinner
Hosted by BIM
20.00

"BACK YOUR AGENCY" CALL TO RABBITTE AFTER OMBUDSMAN RULING - FIE 22-02-2014

FIE has written to Pat Rabbitte asking him to take issue with the Ombudsman who has accepted the Department of Agriculture's claim that the scientific advice provided by Inland Fisheries Ireland for an EU investigation into salmon and sea lice contained 'many inaccuracies', 'fundamental errors', and 'omissions of relevant facts and misleading commentaries' which 'would have had disastrous results for Ireland's reputation had it sent the report to the European Commission'.

The Ombudsman's ruling was in response to a Request for Redress for Maladministration we made after our investigation showed that the Department of Agriculture had not provided the EU with the IFI report critical of its response to the commission.

The files document that the Department of Agriculture failed to provide the commission with the 'express views' requested from IFI as part of the investigation. The investigation, which began in 2010, was subsequently closed by the Commission in 2012.

Plans were then announced by the Department of Agriculture to double national production of farmed salmon at one site in Galway Bay, with eight further farms planned along the coast.

The Ombudsman accepted DAFF's claims without question, undertaking no investigation. 'The fundamental principle that the other side must be heard was ignored by the Ombudsman, who simply went to the body against which the complaint was lodged and accepted their defence word for word.'

'The Minister for Communications can not cut his agency adrift to sink or swim when it is accused of such incompetence.'

In fact, the irony is that the fundamental errors lay with the Department of Agriculture and it is the work of their Agency, the Marine Institute, discounting the influence of sea lice on wild salmon which has been disgraced and has had a disastrous result for Ireland's reputation in Brussels.

Deputy Clare Daly has tabled a written Parliamentary Question asking Minister Rabbitte if he accepts the position of the Ombudsman. It is due for reply later this week.

The Ombudsman's ruling is at the FIE website at

The letter to Minister Rabbitte is at

Salmon farming under the spotlight - Letters | The Irish Times - Mon, Feb 24, 2014

Salmon farming under the spotlight - Letters | The Irish Times - Mon, Feb 24, 2014

April the 2nd 2014 at the AVIVA Stadium Lansdowne Road

NSFAS (No Salmon Farms At Sea) are asking all Groups, Organizations and members of the general public to join with us and voice your concerns on April the 2nd 2014 at the AVIVA Stadium Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 where BIM are hosting their National Seafood Conference 2014.

Please see link attached for their conference programme,
http://bim.ie/our-services/seafood-conference/programme/

We are asking that everyone joining with us on the day to bring their own placards and banners and meet with us at Gate A of the Lansdowne Road Entrance to the stadium at 7:00am.

See link attached, http://bim.ie/media/bim/content/features/Lansdowne%20Road%20Way%20Finder.pdf

We are hoping to have speakers from various groups throughout the day to voice the concerns of their Group / Organization with open net pen salmon farms at sea on the day.

Should you have any suggestions or questions please contact any of the following.

NSFAS Secretary, Jim Kelly. …………………….. 085 820 5096

NSFAS Chairman, Paddy Keenan. …………… 087 27 46 755

Email Paddy.keenan@nosalmonfarmsatsea.com

https://www.facebook.com/NoSalmonFarmsAtSea

Fish News EU - Salmon that is Labelled "Organic"

Read Fish News Article

AN Irish environmental pressure group alleges that the country's organic farmers are concerned about the methods being used to produce salmon that is labelled "organic".

The claims came from Save Bantry Bay, an organisation which relates that serious concerns about the certification of farmed salmon as organic were raised by the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA) at their recent AGM and members voted unanimously to establish a working group to immediately investigate.

Alec O'Donovan, Secretary of Save Bantry Bay, said: "We welcome the decision by IOFGA to review the 'organic' label for salmon farming. It is time we stop misleading consumers into believing this is a product that is better for the planet when it is actually contributing to the degradation of our inshore environments, water quality and wildlife."

"Organic salmon farmers argue that they're more humane as they stock at lower densities. But, they're still taking a fish that would normally swim thousands of kilometres across the oceans and sticking it in a cage. Organic chicken farming does not allow hens in small cages even though they actually walk only very short distances," added Breda O'Sullivan, Committee Member, Save Bantry Bay.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Irish Government Recommendation 1994 "Salmon Farms Should Not be Placed within 20km of Wild Salmon Rivers.

Save Bantry Bay comment

With the Marine Institute’s research now dismissed, the government has got to take heed of its own advisors recommendations from 1994, which clearly stated salmon farms should not be placed within 20km of wild salmon rivers.

The government has allowed its own agencies to pull the wool over their eyes. The Marine Institute’s sea lice research has caused controversy after controversy. World expert, Professor Mark Costello, has personally written to Minister Simon Coveney to warn him that he is being fed mis-information. And now a team of international scientists have discredited [Marine Institute] research in a well-respected peer reviewed journal.

Not only is the Marine Institute putting their reputation at considerable risk, but also that of the Irish government as a whole. Save Bantry Bay are asking that government stop blindly pushing their salmon farming agenda, backed by bad science, but instead complete a full Strategic Environmental Assessment as is required by EU law.

Inland Fisheries Ireland comment

Krkošek, et al. (2013) points out fundamental methodological errors made by Jackson et al. (2013). Following a re-analysis of the same data, it shows that it incorrectly concluded that sea lice play a minor, perhaps even negligible, role in salmon survival and that this finding emerged following three fundamental methodological errors.

This new paper conducts a re-analysis of the data with the findings departing substantially from those reported and interpreted by Jackson et al. (2013), and in previous publications that drew on some of the same data (Jackson, et al. 2011a; 2011b). Whereas Jackson et al. 2013 assert that sea lice cause 1% of mortality in Atlantic salmon, the correct estimate is actually a one third loss (34%) of overall returned stocks.

An Taisce comment

As authoritative scientific voices have weighed into the debate regarding fish farming, the plans for a giant 1,130-acre caged-fish installation between the Aran Islands and Clare, along with similar proposals elsewhere along the coast, appear increasingly ill-advised.

The revelations about its research can only strengthen the argument that the Marine Institute is propping up [BIM.s] controversial plans for these vast and intensive fish farms off the coast.

Sea lice have proven difficult to control on farms, especially large farms, because it is difficult to treat all fish simultaneously. Such fish farms are linked to mass fatal infestations of wild salmon and trout in countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Canada.

With the Marine Institute study now shown to be essentially a wrong-headed attempt to mask the risks posed by sea lice – harboured in great numbers within such farms – it now needs to be withdrawn in full.

Sea-Lice Twitter-Gate submitted by Adrian Flynn

On 28th of December 2013 (incidentally, my 23rd wedding anniversary), I received a tweet from Gillian Mills of Inshore Ireland with a sensational Headline: Publisher apologises to Ireland’s Marine Institute for contentious sea-lice article. Having been watching the whole debacle of BIM’s application for a major salmon farm license in Galway bay and having a passionate interest for aquaculture, I followed the link in the tweet to an online copy of the article. After reading the online Article, I replied to Gillian and said “divisive headline Gillian.. they apologised for not giving the MI a right to reply, not for the contents of the article”.

Gery Flynn, the Author of the Article and Editor of Inshore Ireland replied to me on 30th December 2013 with a kind offer: “List & analyse any inaccuracies in my article, Adrian, and I'll publish it in full in our January issue. OK?”

I’m now taking Gery up on his kind offer, as I think there has been a lot of confusion in relation to this whole issue and it is important in a democracy that people are freely able to express their views on matters, and also to be well informed in the media of the facts; it may also help clear up any confusion that is out there.

I fully appreciate that this is something of a contentious issue and that Inshore Ireland have given the opponents of the proposed Galway Bay farm project a chance to air their views, and I appreciate your offer to publish my views on your recent article in full.

In an attempt to keep this brief, the main points of your article that I have issues with:

1. Your assertion that the `article` “has been significantly downgraded”, you state this, as if it is a matter of fact.
2. Donal Maguire’s (BIM, the Promoter of the proposed contentious Salmon farm project in Galway Bay), confirmation that the article (his words not mine) `had to be downgraded` and that this is `highly significant`, which coincidentally is the same opinion as Inshore Ireland.
3. Your assertion that such a reclassification is highly significant in the scientific world.
4. Your headline refers to sea-lice article, your article refers to the Krkoesk et al. submission as an article on several occasions, Donal Maguire refers to the Krkoesk et al. submission as an article, the main point of your inshore Ireland article (you are not a scientific journal) is about the re-classification of a submission from a `short communication` to a `comment`, yet you constantly refer to the submission as an article` which is a different scientific class of document and is in fact inaccurate.
5. The Inshore Ireland article appears to be an attempt to discredit and undermine the Krkosek et al. submission and paint the picture that the Marine Institute’s science is right.

After reading your article, questions came to my mind:

1. Did Inshore Ireland, Donal Maguire or anyone from BIM clarify any of these assumptions with Krkoesk et al. or the Journal or Fish Diseases Publisher, Wiley?
2. Was the Krkoesk et al. submission actually `significantly downgraded`, or is this an assumption by Inshore Ireland, Donal Maguire and BIM?
3. What is the difference of reviewing a `Short Communication` and reviewing a `Comment` and is this significant?
4. Was the apology in question from Wiley in relation to any of the actual content of the Krkosek et al. submission?
To clarify my curiosity, and given your invitation to analyse your article, I thought I should clarify the issues at source and contacted
Krkosek et al. and Wiley Publishing; their response is below:

Krkosek et al. views:
Martin Krkosek ‘s view was, “Our comment was not 'downgraded'. It was always a comment. The journal erred in its initial classification of the paper as a short communication. They simply corrected the classification. It does not reflect any reassessment of the content of our comment.”
Christopher Todd confirmed that, “Nigel Balmforth (Wiley Senior Publisher) has confirmed that their re-categorisation after Early View publication “was not a downgrading of content””

Crawford Revie explained that, “we have found it unproductive to engage in detail on essentially ‘political’ issues - which appear to generate 'sound bites' rather than enhancing scientific understanding... It was for this reason that we chose to respond to the Jackson et al paper in the way we did rather than through any media comment. It is unfortunate that our attempt at a more direct/objective dialogue appears to have become tangled in the politics of the situation...”

Crawford also told me, “The piece was originally published as a Short Communication. However, it is very clear from the title that we used (this was our original title, not one that the journal allocated) that we had always intended this to be a Comment. “Just for completeness; the original title that Krkosek et al. used for their submission was `Comment on Jackson et al. ‘Impact of Lepeophtheirus salmonis infestations on migrating Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., smolts at eight locations in Ireland with an analysis of lice-induced marine mortality’`

Crawford is also keen to continue the debate on the science and said, “My co-authors and I are looking forward to reading Jackson et al's response to our Comment and plan to continue the scientific debate once we have seen their defence of the four major methodological criticisms we highlighted in our Comment.”

The Journal of Fish Disease/Publishers views:

I contacted Nigel Balmfoth (Wiley Senior Publisher) :

1. To confirm the comments by Krkosek et al. as I think it might be good practice to make confirmations of such matters at the source; and
2. To put some of the questions I raised earlier in this article to him.

Nigel confirmed, “We have not authorized anyone to speak on our behalf and we have kept our comments below short so that they can be conveyed onwards in their entirety to avoid any misinterpretation. We are not offering any views on reports of comments or interpretation made by others.

The Comment from Krkošek et al. was the first ever received by the Journal of Fish Diseases (JFD), and was mistakenly classified as a Short Communication rather than a Comment, despite its title. This was subsequently corrected.

As clarified in the JFD Author Guidelines, Short Communications and Comments are editorially reviewed in order to facilitate rapid publication; Original Manuscripts and Reviews are fully peer reviewed. An explanation of the difference between Original Manuscripts, Reviews, Comments and Short Communications is published in JFD and attached for information: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2761/homepage/ForAuthors.html

Due to a procedural error, Jackson et al were not given the right to respond prior to publication of the Comment in Early View. We have apologised to the authors for this error and recorded our apology in the Publisher’s Note.
We look forward to publishing the Comment and the response from the authors together in a forthcoming issue of JFD in support of the principle of scientific debate.”

Having read the JFD Author Guidelines, I can report that `Short Communications` and `Comments` are both treated in the same way in relation to reviews; “will be editorially reviewed within the Editorial Team and/or Editorial Board in order to facilitate rapid publication.”

Therefore it would appear to me, from all the clarifications that I have received from the direct sources involved in the central issue:

1. Short Communications and Comments are reviewed equally; therefore the reclassification does not represent any sort of downgrade or `significant downgrade`, as suggested by your paper and confirmed as a `highly significant downgrade` by Donal Maguire of BIM.
2. There is no question that Wiley have apologised to The Marine Institute Ireland about any of the actual content of the Krkosek et al. submission.
3. The only apology that the Marine Institute of Ireland received, was an apology for not having a right to reply before publishing of the `Comment`; I note this has been subsequently offered and will appear in the next issue of JFD.
4. The reclassification of the submission did not represent any kind of downgrade of the content of the `comment` by Krkosek et al. it was merely an administrative issue.
5. The issue of the reclassification was not confirmed with Krkoesk et al. by Inshore Ireland or BIM, and it appears it was not clarified with Wiley either.

I have asked Wiley if there has been any pressure from Ireland to reclassify the submission, but no reply was forthcoming on this issue.
Given your recent articles from BIM and Inshore Ireland in relation to misinformation... well, what can I say; I only hope the taxpayer has not been exposed to a deformation suit from the Authors of the `Comment` or Wiley Publishing!

It sounds to me, from all the responses I have received, that the issue of the reclassification of the submission was merely an administrative issue been corrected. The issue of a peer review does not arise as Krkosek et al. were merely commenting on a Review Paper; they were not submitting a review paper themselves. The Krkosek et al. `comment` was based on the same data that Jackson et al. (The Irish Marine Institute) used, but the Krkosek et al. findings (33% mortality of smolts due to sea-lie) were significantly different from the Jackson et al. findings (1% mortality of smolts due to sea lice) a difference of 32%, although the methods and comparisons are complicated.

I would say you will be using a bit more paper on this issue in the months to come, as I think there is a lot more miles left in this story.
In conclusion, I would have thought that it would have been good journalistic practice to have clarified these issues at source, if Inshore Ireland was interested in giving a factual unbiased view of the issue. Instead, Inshore Ireland clarified the issue with the Salmon project promoter (a large source of advertising revenue for Inshore Ireland), although I appreciate you also asked Marine Institute (co-project promoter, and another large source of advertising revenue for Inshore Ireland) and Inland Fisheries Ireland for comments. I would hardly think, the views of the project promoter, could be said to be an unbiased opinion.

I also note, that Donal Maguire, BIM, or Inshore Ireland, have been given no authority whatsoever to clarify anything for Wiley Publishing.

Copyright Adrian Flynn 2014 © All rights reserved. All copyrights waved for full publication, although donations will be accepted @iAdrianFlynn

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Coveney must ‘withdraw completely’ from fish farm decision, says Welby

Coveney must ‘withdraw completely’ from fish farm decision, says Welby

IOFGA Express Serious Concern over Certification of Salmon Farms

IOFGA - IRISH ORGANIC FARMERS AND GROWERS ASSOCIATION obviously are very concerned about their continued certification of salmon processors and salmon farms and the negative image it is giving their brand as they UNANIMOUSLY Passed the following motion at their recent AGM on February11th "Membership of IOFGA have serious concerns about the certification of salmon farms and salmon processors and that a working group should be set up immediately to reflect that concern and report back to the AGM in the interim"

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Viable Solution We Want Salmon Farmers to Move Towards

Closed containment is a proven, viable technology, and is currently used to raise species such as tilapia, trout and salmon in Canada, the US and China. Whether sited on water or land, closed containment systems can:

  • eliminate or significantly reduce water column pollution from feed, feces and chemical waste and contamination of the seabed under farms;
  • eliminate escapes from the rearing facility;
  • eliminate marine mammal deaths due to interactions with farmed fish and nets;
  • eliminate or greatly reduce the risk of disease and parasite transfer to wild salmon; and
  • significantly reduce the need for antibiotics and chemical treatments in raising fish.
Because of these advantages, as well as advances in the technology itself over the last several years, closed containment has become widely regarded by scientists, conservationists, some salmon farming companies and the public as a more responsible alternative to net-cage aquaculture. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of salmon is currently farmed in closed containment due to industry’s overall resistance to change and the profitability of externalizing costs. Externalized costs are currently borne by society or the environment and not by salmon producers, such as ‘free’ waste disposal from open net-cage farms into the marine environment.
Closed containment technology not only enables salmon farming companies to be better, more responsible corporate citizens by minimizing or eliminating externalized impacts, it also eliminates or reduces costly problems inherent to net-cages. For instance, closed containment provides protection against the loss of fish through mass escape events or algae and plankton blooms that can kill farmed fish by the thousands as well as protection from sea lice infestations and disease.

By being able to control the temperature all year round, reduce and potentially eliminate diseases and parasites, control oxygen and carbon dioxide, the fish can grow to harvest size six months sooner than it takes in an ocean net pen. Almost all the water needed to grow the fish will be treated and reused with recirculation rates as high as 99%.


Atlantic Salmon Federation Reports
Closed Containment Facts

Monday, 17 February 2014

Identifying Escaped Farmed Salmon

Reference Book: Stock Identification Methods: Applications in Fishery Science






Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Guidelines for Anglers that suspect they have recaptured an escaped Farmed Salmon

Guidelines for Anglers that suspect they have recaptured an escaped farmed salmon:
 

1. Do not return the salmon to the water.
2. Tag the salmon with rod or commercial tags issued with your licence under the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Regulations. (Blue, brown, red, white)
3. Contact IFI immediately and report where you caught the farmed salmon (estuary/river/lake).
4. Freeze the salmon whole and IFI will assist with the identification process.
5. If the Salmon is identified as a recaptured farm escaped salmon, your tag will be replaced.
 

Blackrock +353 1 2787022
Clonmel +353 52 6180055
Macroom +353 26 41221
Limerick +353 61 300238
Galway +353 91 563118
Ballina +353 96 22788
Ballyshannon +353 71 9851435


Please be advised that farmed salmon may be the subject of various treatments and may not be suitable for human consumption.


Signs that you may have caught a Farmed Salmon
  1. Rounded Head 
  2. Damaged Fins
  3. Missing or Partial Gill Plates
  4. Unusual Spotting

A farmed salmon from Bantry Bay (photo: Niall Duffy)

Monday, 10 February 2014

MINISTER Simon Coveney is due to answer a written parliamentary question this week on the reported escape of between 60,000 and 80,000 large salmon from a farm in Bantry Bay.

MINISTER Simon Coveney is due to answer a written parliamentary question this week on the reported escape of between 60,000 and 80,000 large salmon from a farm in Bantry Bay.

A statement issued by local group Save Bantry Bay yesterday confirmed the incident occurred on Saturday, February 1st, when a cage pulled its anchor and upended into another cage, allowing the fish to escape.
The local group, which said it had been monitoring the situation since the storm, said they were ‘surprised that the company has made no announcement’ and expressed concerns because of the ‘very real likelihood of further escapees. The protective nets have been stripped by the gales and the seas are overtopping the cages, allowing salmon to escape and predators like seals to enter’, the statement said.

The written parliamentary question, tabled by TD Clare Daly on behalf of Friends of the Irish Environment last week, asked if the Minister ‘will detail the damage to aquaculture operations during the recent stormy weather and in particular, the number of fish escaped as reported under the Licencing conditions for fin fish operations to his Department.’

The question identifies the company in Bantry Bay and asks if the Minister can assure the Deputy ‘that he is satisfied that escapees from salmon farms have not and will not have an irreversible impact on the genetic integrity of native wild salmon stocks.’

Frankenfish
FIE Director Tony Lowes called the escape of farmed fish an ‘ecological disaster’. ‘The number of maturing fish that escaped in Bantry Bay are twice the world wide total of escapes in 2012,’ he said.
‘Not only can farmed salmon pass contaminants, parasites and pathogens to wild salmon, but escaped farmed salmon threaten wild salmon because they compete for food and mates. Because farmed salmon are bigger and faster-growing, they often win out. And when farmed salmon succeed in mating with wild salmon, they are liable to produce genetically inferior offspring. The term “frankenfish” is not scaremongering.’
Inland Fisheries Ireland reports that escapes ‘can lead to salmon extinction in their native rivers, particularly where wild stock numbers are low.’ Their ‘Factsheet’ reports that ‘In Norway, all classified wild salmon rivers have been negatively impacted by farmed salmon escapes. 8 salmon rivers have been critically threatened or have lost their native wild stocks.’ The news comes days after Marine Harvest, who produce 80% of Ireland’s farmed salmon, announced 2013 extraordinary loses of €6.7 million due in part to stormy weather preventing feeding and dosing with medicines. The Minister’s reply is due on Wednesday.

http://www.southernstar.ie/News/Minister-to-answer-question-on-salmon-escapes-10022014.htm

Sunday, 9 February 2014

60,000 to 80,000 Farmed Salmon have Escaped in Bantry Bay, Co Cork, Ireland

It is estimated that between 60,000 to 80,000 one year old  farmed salmon have escaped from a salmon farm at Gerahies, Bantry Bay, County Cork with an added undetermined number of smaller fish escaping after a bad storm on Saturday 1st February 2014. Save Bantry Bay said: ‘We are particularly concerned because of the very real likelihood of further escapees. The protective nets have been stripped by the gales and the seas are overtopping the cages, allowing salmon to escape and predators like seals to enter.’

‘Their licence requires that they report all escapes to the Department of Agriculture without delay and this information should be available to us all through the local media.’
The company must tell the public what is going on, even if they are unable to undertake a detailed survey of the remaining fish because of the unsettled weather. We need to know what measures the company is taking to prevent their further escapes.

The statement went on to explain that ‘The escape of farmed salmon is a potential disaster for our native wild stock. ‘These escaped fish interbreed and compete with wild salmon, transmitting disease and parasites to them. Farmed salmon compete with native stock for scarce food and irreversibly weaken the genetic makeup and survival of wild salmon if they reproduce with them.
‘Contained systems on land are the only way to protect the environment and raise salmon. It is clear now that the proposed expansion by Marine Harvest in Bantry Bay can not be defended’, the statement from the local group concluded.

http://bantryblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/press-release-call-for-fish-farm-escape-details/